After our trip to NYC, the BF and I realized that there are several tourist hot spots in Atlanta that we had never visited. Since I work for a company that offers discounted tickets to the Georgia Aquarium and the new World of Coke, we ventured into downtown one Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago for a touristy good time!
Tip #1 I’d offer to any visitor of the Georgia Aquarium, tourist or local, is to arrive with tickets in hand. Because I’d purchased tickets in advance, we were able to zip by the huge line of folks at the ticket booth and walked right in.
It didn’t take an astronomical amount of time to take in all of the exhibits at the world’s largest aquarium. We leisurely strolled through, “oooh-ing” and “awww-ing” at the pretty and ugly critters alike, read the educational placards, listened to the employees give their spiels and were finished within an hour and a half. All in all, a pleasurable experience that I would recommend to anyone who hasn’t checked it out yet. They have some programs available for hard-core enthusiasts, such as the opportunity to dive in the “Gentle Giants” tank, and overnight sleep-overs. And don’t forget about the new dolphin exhibit/show that is now open (we missed it by a couple of days). Check out their website for more information.
A very short walk next door brought us to our next stop, the new World of Coke museum. All I remembered from my previous visits on school field trips (at the old location) was the seemingly endless variety of Coke products to sample at the end of the tour. Overall, the museum is pretty much a giant advertisement. I didn’t learn much, but I was fairly entertained and left with a smile on my face (sugar high!), which I’m pretty sure is their goal.
The tour starts with an animated “documentary” of what a bottle of Coke goes through in a vending machine. While not at all informative, it did make me LOL. It was a really cute little film, sure to amuse any age group.
From there, we strolled through the exhibits full of advertisements throughout the years, saw the bottling process, then watched the 4D film about “what makes a Coke a Coke.” Yes, I said 4D… that means you get to wear the awesome paper 3D glasses and sit in seats that are choreographed to move during the movie. You also get misted with water as you see water coming at you with the 3D glasses. This was also not at all informative, but rather an elaborate advertisement that encourages the connection of fond memories to Coke. Too bad I couldn’t relate… I grew up drinking Big K Cola!
Finally, it was time to head to the sample room. It seemed smaller than it did in the old museum, but that’s probably because everything seemed much bigger when I was younger. My adult self couldn’t even attempt to try all of them – the sugar really started to get to me after about 2 dozen samples – but it was fun to watch all the youngins take up the challenge.
My verdict: I would have felt a little ripped off if I’d paid full price for tickets, and I would only recommend this attraction to people who really, really like Coke products. There are much better attractions to choose from, in my opinion.
Finally, no visit to downtown would be complete without a stop at Der Biergarten, the German restaurant that opened last year. I’ve been there twice now, and my only gripe is that the service has been less than great on both occasions. But the food and beer are delish! Both visits have been on chilly afternoons, so I’m looking forward to returning on a warmer day to hang out on their deck with a liter of brew. Have you discovered this place yet? I recommend that you do, and be sure to use the scoutmob deal to score half off!
All in all, pretending to be tourists proved to be quite fun for the afternoon! The fact that all of the activities were discounted made it all the better. My parting tip for all your tourists: check the weather forecast before heading to Atlanta! March and April are somewhat wildcard months in terms of weather, and you don’t want to be stuck in a strapless sundress on a breezy, sunless day. 🙂